Przewalski’s Horse

The taxonomic position of Przewalski’s horse is controversial and no consensus exists whether it is a full species, a subspecies, or a subpopulation, but all extant wild horses belong to the subspecies Equus ferus przewalksii.

Przewalski’s horse was formally described as a novel species in 1881 by Ivan Semyonovich Polyakov, although the taxonomic position of Przewalski’s horse remains controversial, and no consensus exists whether it is a full species (Equus przewalskii), a subspecies of the wild horse (Equus ferus przewalskii, along with two other subspecies, the domesticated horse (E. f. caballus), and the extinct tarpan (E. f. ferus)), or even a subpopulation of the domestic horse.

Current scientific review of the taxonomy of wild equids places Przewalski’s horse as a subspecies of the extinct Equus ferus, known as the wild horse. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) currently classifies Przewalski’s horse as both a species (Equus ferus) and a subspecies (Equus ferus przewalskii), though all extant wild horses belong to the subspecies Equus ferus przewalskii.


Image | © Cloudtail the Snow Leopard, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | Cai, et al., 2009; Kavar & Dovc, 2008; King, Boyd, Zimmermann, & Kendall, 2015; Lau, et al., 2009 Groves, 1991; The Wikimedia Foundation 2021a, 2021b

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